A self-taught cook whose parents did not cook themselves, Sabrina Ghayour has always learned by doing, recreating the foods she has eaten and enjoyed. And sometimes she strides off in fresh directions, using Persian and other Middle Eastern ingredients as her reference point but not limited only to them.
So in Simply she offers a collection of practical, flavorful dishes that rely on short ingredient lists and uncomplicated preparation. A cauliflower and cumin soup needs just 6 ingredients and takes about 30 minutes to be ready. A tomato and peanut salad with tamarind, ginger and honey dressing takes about 20 minutes. And while some dishes take longer, such as mashed cannellini beans with preserved lemon and tahini, most of that extra time is simply the food simmering away on a back burner or roasting in an oven.
Worth calling out here are several inspired dishes that seem to defy easy classification: roasted nectarines served on a bed of savory spiced labneh; cumin-scented lamb over tagliatelle; green bean and black-eyed pea baklava. The book has many such surprising ideas.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.